Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
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Fifth Committee Member
Number of Pages
Richard Danielpour’s (b.1956) song cycle Spirits in the Well (1998) uses four poems penned by Toni Morrison (1931-2019), specifically for Danielpour’s musical setting. Spirits in the Well remains virtually unknown to the general public and artists, as it has never been professionally recorded, despite having been frequently performed by famed soprano Jessye Norman (1945-2019). This document introduces singers to Spirits in the Well by offering a performance guide to the song cycle; it presents information on the text, musical style, structure, form, technical vocal challenges, and dramatic demands that this work places on a singer. Brief background information is provided for both Danielpour and Morrison, as well as a discussion of their contributions and writing styles within their respective fields. In addition, the song cycle’s premiere, performance history, and critical reception are examined.
Performing arts;Piano music;Morrison, Toni
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Chenes, Christina Louise, "A Performer’s Guide to Richard Danielpour’s Spirits In The Well: A Cycle of Four Songs for Soprano and Piano with Lyrics by Toni Morrison" (2022). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4383.
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